New York ID requirements for voting by mail

COVID-19 Advisory:  Governor Cuomo has signed an executive order which will result in the state sending postage-paid absentee ballot applications to all registered New York voters. Voters should check the "temporary illness" box on their ballot application if they are concerned about the potential of contracting COVID-19. This option is available only for the June 23 primary at this time.

Who is eligible to request an absentee ballot and vote by mail?

In addition to the potential to contract COVID-19, a voter may request an absentee ballot application for the following reasons:

  • Absent from your county or, if a resident of New York City absent from said city, on Election Day.
  • Unable to appear at the polls due to temporary or permanent illness or disability#; or because you are the primary caregiver of one or more individuals who are ill or has a physical disability.
  • A resident or patient of a Veterans Health Administration Hospital.
  • Detained in jail awaiting Grand Jury action or confined in prison after conviction for an offense other than a felony.

# “Temporary Illness or Physical Disability” may include due to the potential of contracting COVID-19.

Voter Registration

First-time voters who have not voted in a previous federal election, or who have never voted in their county of residence in a federal election, AND who did not provide either a driver’s license number or the last four digits of a Social Security number at the time of registration, must present documentation proving their identity in order to complete their voter registration. First time voters who are voting in person must present this documentation at the polls. First time voters who are voting by mail/absentee ballot must enclose a copy of such documentation with their ballot request or ballot. This is required under the federal Help America Vote Act, enacted in 2002.

Do you need to submit ID with your absentee ballot request?

No. Unless you are a first-time voter – see Voter Registration section above.


Do you need to submit ID with your ballot?

No, but the signature on your mail ballot must match your voter registration signature.

Last update: May 18, 2020

Hannah Piercey